All posts by Sterenn Le Maguer

Archéologue spécialiste de la péninsule Arabique et du commerce dans l'océan Indien, vacataire à l'Institut catholique de Paris, chercheure associée au CEFREPA.

AQUEDUCTS, CANALS, QANATS workshop on June 23rd-24th in Nijmegen




This workshop will explore topics connected to the hydraulic infrastructure and its management that allowed water to be transported to, and distributed within, cities in the medieval world (c. 600–1500 CE). Many medieval cities depended on the transportation of water across long distances, requiring the construction of significant infrastructure—or, in some cases, the maintenance and extension of pre-existing structures from earlier periods—to supply urban populations. Conduits of various varieties—such as canals, qanats and aqueducts—were huge investments in terms of labour and financial resources and their construction, through sometimes difficult and unforgiving landscapes, often presented considerable engineering challenges that had to be overcome. Once built, these structures required frequent maintenance to remain effective and the distribution of water had to be actively managed to ensure an equitable supply of water regularly reached urban users. Rulers often took a personal interest in the construction, extension or repair of these conduit systems while local authorities and other institutions played key roles in their management and regulation. The material evidence for many of these conduits is well preserved and its analysis often illuminates how, when and why these structures were built as well as episodes of maintenance, repair and abandonment. Textual evidence, on the other hand, provides an equally valuable strand of evidence which often contains more ephemeral details relating to their management, the social obligations that related to their upkeep and the users that depended on the water they conveyed.

In this workshop, we aim to gain an insight into these processes—construction and upkeep, management, (dis)repair, etc.—as well as the relationships between the many people and groups involved in these processes and/or who made use of the water transported and distributed via these conduits. Therefore, contributions explore various aspects of conduit systems that brought water to, and distributed water within, medieval cities—e.g. their construction, repair, management, materiality, symbolism or abandonment. Our focus is the medieval Middle East but contributions also consider evidence from neighbouring cultural and geographic zones (including, but not limited to, the Byzantine Empire, Al-Andalus and Central Asia) as well as earlier periods (such as the Roman and Sasanian empires).

The preliminary programme can be download here.

We would be delighted if colleagues could join us in person, but there will also be a live zoom link to follow discussions online.

To register please send an email to, indicating IN-PERSON or ONLINE attendance, specifying which days you will attend.

The zoom link will be send to registered participants on the eve of the conference.

Samarra workshop Durham/online 27th June

Department of Archaeology, Durham University

Landscapes of Complex Society Research Group/ Durham Centre for Cultural Heritage Protection

The Abbasid capital at Samarra: the current situation and its research potential

Monday 27th June 13:00-16:00 (BST)

Samarra, located 100 km north of Baghdad, was the Abbasid capital between its foundation in 836 AD/CE until about 892 AD/CE. At 5,800 hectares extending 40km along the Tigris, and with the plans of around 6,400 separate buildings recorded, it is one the largest archaeological sites in the world and without doubt the most important evidence available for the nature of Abbasid urban layout. The site also holds the answers to many important questions about the nature of Abbasid society and power. Yet the extensive remains are steadily being destroyed through development and agriculture.

Following the publication of the Historical Topography of Samarra (Northedge 2005) and the Archaeological Atlas of Samarra (Northedge and Kennet 2015) this workshop is intended to take a look at the current condition of the site and to discuss plans for future research.

13:00 Derek Kennet Introduction; An Outline of Samarra and its development

13:30 Alastair Northedge The Samarra Archaeological Survey, potential, evolving technology, and achievements in context

14:00 William Deadman The Samarra Atlas GIS archive: assessing damage and threats to the site using remote sensing

14:25 Tea/coffee

14:50 Peter Brown Water supply and water-use at Samarra: exploring the evidence and potential for future research

15:10 Tim Power Samarra – Horizons, Near and Far

15:30 Discussion

16:00 Close

The workshop will be held in person in room D210 in the Dawson Building, Durham University and also online at the following Zoom link:

Click on this Zoom link to register:

Attendance in both formats is free and all are welcome to come along to listen and to contribute to the discussion.

CFP: “Material culture in the Arabian Peninsula and the Gulf during the Late Antiquity and the Early Islamic period”

5th International Seminar of the Archaeology of the Arabian Peninsula
Organized by the NCCAL & the CEFREPA
“Material culture in the Arabian Peninsula and the Gulf during the Late Antiquity and the Early Islamic period”

Material culture within the Arabian Peninsula is still a growing field of research, particularly regarding the study of the artefacts dated within the end of the Sassanian empire to the Abbasid caliphs. Since the 1960s and 1970s, archaeologists have proposed numerous hypotheses for a better understanding of the exchange networks, typologies of objects and their dating. If the economic contacts along the coastlines, between the Arabian world and India or East Africa are well documented, commercial roads in the Peninsula need to be precisely defined. Material productions, such as pottery, glass, stone, metalwork, shell-work or textile, which were produced and exchanged throughout the area, would benefit from new perspectives. Beyond
the typological works, new researches focuse on chemical characterisationand function with a developing interest for their context location in domestic habitats or other types of occupations. These approches provide in particular a better understanding of the daily life of the populations around the Peninsula. The accumulation of recent data, pooled by the numerous archaeological missions, on the fields or in laboratories, allows us to a further comprehension of material culture in Arabian Peninsula, for the Late Antiquity until the beginning of the Medieval period.
This international conference represents an opportunity for researchers, working in and around the Peninsula, to present or answer many pending issues.
Whether related to matters of typology, dating and provenance of artefacts or comparisons between the uses of materials in different archaeological sites.
This gathering will allow the discussion between specialists of the different types of objects but also to propose global syntheses on the material culture.
The first day, and the morning of the second day will be dedicated to the academic lectures at the National Library of Kuwait, a workshop will take place on the afternoon of the second day at the Cefrepa and dedicated to pottery studies. This workshop will be an opportunity to explore new study themes around the archaeological artefacts from the same period and to compare the different typological approaches. A time will be reserved on the third day for a visit of the different medieval archéological sites on the island of Failaka.

To participate in the 5th International Seminar of the Archaeology of the Arabian Peninsula organized by the National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters of Kuwait and the French Research Center of the Arabian Peninsula, (October 2-4, 2022, Kuwait), please provide :
• Title of paper
• A 150/300-word abstract
• Name and academic affiliation of the presenter and co-authors
Email these elements with the phrase : “Material culture in the Arabian Peninsula” written in the subject line, at :
by June 15, 2022. Send any inquiries to the same address

New publication: Archaeology, Politics and Islamicate Cultural Heritage in Europe

Archaeology, Politics and Islamicate Cultural Heritage in Europe

Edited by David J. Govantes-Edwards

Archaeology, Politics and Islamicate Cultural Heritage in Europe responds to the wishes of specialists in the history and archaeology of Islamicate societies in Europe to explore the integration of these societies into historical narratives. In order to deal with the multiple implications and wide ramifications of the subject matter, the book offers a collection of papers that cover a broad range of topics, including historiography, gender and family studies, material culture, historical and contemporary identities, historical heritage management, and archaeological theory, while paying attention to the peculiarities of the record in European regions in which Islamicate societies have played a major historical role (and others in which this role may not be quite so obvious, such as Scandinavia). These wide-ranging subjects find their commonality in the book’s aim of challenging the dominant simplifying narratives and their stress on interruption and exception.

The impact of historical narratives in national and social identities is reflected in a wide range of issues, including school curricula, heritage management, the organisation of academic departments, the presentation of Islamicate history and archaeology in the media and the politics of identity of majority and minority groups. The volume does not avoid these questions, but tackles them head-on, challenging the unwillingness of some academics to engage in potentially disruptive political issues.

Table of content

More information:

Online lecture: “The Missing Bishopric? The Archaeology of Christianity in Samahij, Bahrain”, 28/04/2022

We cordially invite you to an online lecture Professor Timothy Insoll Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter, UK on DEUTSCHES ARCHÄOLOGISCHES INSTITUT “The Missing Bishopric? The Archaeology of Christianity in Samahij, Bahrain” Thursday, April 28th, 2022 4.00 p.m. CET Abstract: The episcopal seat of Meshmahig or Mašmahig is referred to in various historical sources, such as the synods of the Church of the East, of 410 and 576. These sources have been extensively explored, and it has been suggested that Mašmahig can be linked with the village of Samahij in northeast Muharraq Island, Bahrain. However, archaeological evidence for a Christian presence in Samahij, or elsewhere in Bahrain was lacking. Excavations completed within the village cemetery at Samahij uncovered part of a large building complex. Based on the architecture, associated material culture, and chronology, it is suggested this was occupied by a Christian community, and is perhaps the episcopal palace itself. This was abandoned after Islamisation, seemingly in the eighth century. The results of two seasons of excavations will be described, and the implications for Christianity, Islamisation, and settlement in Bahrain considered. The online event is free of charge and takes place with the software “Zoom”. Please click the following link to join the event:… Meeting-ID: 923 1298 1591 Passcode: 666010

New publication: H. Kirchner, F. Sabaté (eds.), Agricultural Landscapes of Al-Andalus, and the Aftermath of the Feudal Conquest

Agricultural Landscapes of Al-Andalus, and the Aftermath of the Feudal Conquest

H. Kirchner, F. Sabaté (eds.)

277 p., 22 b/w ill. + 40 maps (36 b&w, 4 colour), 8 b/w tables, 1 b/w line art, 156 x 234 mm, 2021
ISBN: 978-2-503-59397-5
Languages: English

The publication is available.
Retail price: EUR 80,00 excl. tax

Brings together significant, recent research on agricultural systems in al-Andalus, undertaken from an archaeological perspective, with particular reference to irrigated and drained areas, dry agriculture field systems, and pasturelands.

This volume presents recent archaeological research on the agriculture and society of al-Andalus during the Middle Ages, especially from the perspective of ‘hydraulic archaeology’ — an avenue of research developed by Spanish researchers which focuses on the analysis of irrigation systems created by Islamic colonists from the eighth century onwards. More recently, this research perspective has incorporated the analysis of other agricultural systems, such as dryland agriculture and pasturelands. All of these agricultural regimes are complementary in peasant-led subsistence agricultural systems. From a methodological perspective, this archaeological approach is highly innovative, and uses a wide range of techniques (aerial photography, cartographical analysis, field survey, archival research, and archaeological excavation) in order to outline the size and boundaries of cultivation and grazing areas, to define specific plots of land and the related road networks, and to identify other associated facilities, such as watermills.

In connection with these topics, several issues are discussed: the earmarking of rural or urban farming areas for irrigation, draining, or dryland agriculture; the process of construction and the subsequent evolution of these farming areas; the transformations undergone by these areas after the feudal conquest; and, finally, the identification of pasturelands and the analysis of the evidence concerning their management.

Helena Kirchneris Professor of Medieval History and Archaeology and a member of the research group Agrarian Archaeology of the Middle Ages (2017SGR1073) at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.

Flocel Sabbate Curul is a Professor of Medieval History at the University of Lleida.

Table of Contents

Introduction. Research on Irrigation, Drainage, Dry Agriculture and Pastures in Al-Andalus — HELENA KIRCHNERPeasant Irrigation Systems

Agrarian Spaces and the Network of Andalusi Settlements of Manacor (Mallorca) — EUGÈNIA SITJES

Watermills in Ibiza (Balearic Islands): A Documentary and Archaeological Case Study in Santa Eulàlia des Riu — ANTONI FERRER, HELENA KIRCHNER

Morphology of Irrigated Spaces in Late Medieval Mudejar Settlements: The Canal of Lorca (Riba-roja de Turia, Valencia) — ENRIC GUINOTUrban Irrigated Areas

Searching for the Origin: A New Interpretation for the Horta of Valencia in Times of Al-Andalus — FERRAN ESQUILACHE

Drainage and Irrigation Systems in MadīnaṬurṭūša(Tortosa, Spain) (8th-12th Centuries) — HELENA KIRCHNER, ARNALD PUY, ANTONI VIRGILIDry Farming and Pasturelands

On Dry Farming in al-Andalus — FÈLIX RETAMERO

On the Problem of Andalusi Dry Farming: Aialt (Castell de Castells), a Qarya with no Irrigation System in the Mountains of Valencia — JOSEP TORRÓ

Deciphering Islamic Landscape in the Eastern Ebro Valley: Almunias and Livestock — JESÚS BRUFAL

Irrigated Pasturelands in Mountain Ranges in the South-East Of the Iberian Peninsula — ANTONIO MALPICA, SONIA VILLAR, GUILLERMO GARCÍA-CONTRERAS

International Workshop – “Medieval Archaeology in Ethiopia”, 09/03/2022

Wednesday 9, March 2022, 9:00-17:30, MMSH, salle Georges Duby, Aix-en-Provence. The one-day workshop is organized by the ERC HornEast and aims to present the recent research of different teams working in Ethiopia. Organizers: Amélie Chekroun, Simon Dorso & Julien Loiseau

Morning Programm
9:00 – Welcoming coffee
9:15-9:30: Pr. Julien Loiseau, Dr. Simon Dorso
Introduction to the workshop
9:30 – 10:00:
Pr. Timothy Insoll (Al-Qasimi Chair in African and Islamic Archaeology, Centre for Islamic Archaeology, Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies,
University of Exeter)
Archaeological Perspectives on Contacts between Cairo and Eastern Ethiopia in the 12th to 15th Centuries

10:20 : Coffee Break

Hannah Parsons-Morgan (al-Qasimi Doctoral Researcher, Centre for Islamic Archaeology, University of Exeter, ERC Becoming Muslim)
Chinese Ceramic Consumption in the Horn of Africa: Materialities and Modification at Mediaeval Harlaa, Eastern Ethiopia
Dr. Nicholas Tait (Centre for Islamic Archaeology, Institute for Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter) The Development of Local Ceramics from Harlaa, Eastern Ethiopia, in a Regional Perspective

12:10-12:30 : Discussion

12:30- 13:30 : Lunch

Afternoon Programm
Dr. Hiluf Behre (Mekelle University, Collège de France)
The palace at Gud Bahri: its Functions from Residence, Metal Workshop
to a Place of Worship
14:20-14:50 :
Dr. Simon Dorso (ERC HornEast, IREMAM, Aix-Marseille University)
The Muslim Cemeteries of South-Eastern Tigray (Ethiopia): Islamic Burials and Funerary
Practices at the Hearth of the Christian Kingdom

15:10 : Coffee Break

15:30-16:00 :
Dr. Anna Lagaron (ERC HornEast, IREMAM, Aix-Marseille University) & Pr. Julien Loiseau (ERC HornEast, Aix-Marseille University, IREMAM)
The Muslim Funerary Stelae from Bilet and Arra’s Cemeteries (South-Eastern Tigray, Ethiopia): Epigraphy, Materiality and Significance for the History of Early Islam in Ethiopia

16:20-16:50 :
Dr Helina S. Woldekiros (Washington University in St. Louis)
Foodways on Medieval Trade Networks: Provisioning the Afar Salt Caravan route, Northern Ethiopia (1000 CE-1600 CE)

17:10-17:30 : Open discussion and perspectives

Source :

CALL FOR PAPERS: The Mosque in Transformation, 17th Colloquium of the Ernst Herzfeld-Gesellschaft

The Mosque in Transformation, 17th Colloquium of the Ernst Herzfeld-Gesellschaft

Córdoba (Spain), Casa ÁrabeJune 30 – July 2, 2022

The mosque, in its diverse architectural and visual expressions and as an institution, is considered one of the most significant manifestations of Islamic cultures. While the basic liturgical concept as a place of prayer is universal, a mosque can acquire further functions, and its form has proven extraordinarily malleable across and within regions and times. Scholarship has dealt with this diversity in studies on formal and conceptual evolution, typologies, and regional or local traditions.

Over recent decades many questions became more complicated or persist unanswered. The formal and conceptual sources of the earliest materially extant mosques remain a matter of debate and speculation. Transformations in the visuality, the layout, the elements, and the fittings of the mosque and its place in urban planning have been described from an architectural, archaeological, and historical angle and may require more explanation from a liturgical, religious, social, or ideological perspective. The re-use of mosques in a changing environment (such as in the Iberian Peninsula) has been documented, while its implications for artistic and cultural heritage call for discussion.

The 17th Colloquium of the Ernst Herzfeld Society invites recent research on the mosque in transformation, as an architecture and a visual and functional space in continuous evolution, transcending notions of the mosque as a fixed entity. The organizers invite papers that deal with transformations in the visuality, materiality, and concept of the mosque as seen in architecture and decoration, in furnishings and liturgical elements, in specific functions at specific times, in their changes including usage by other religious communities, and with reference to social, ideological, and historical currents.

Schedule – The Colloquium takes place at Córdoba (Spain), in the Casa Árabe and is organized by Fernando Valdés Fernández of the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid in collaboration with institutions in Córdoba. It will start with a keynote lecture on the evening of Thursday, June 30, 2022. The Colloquium continues with the main sessions on Friday and Saturday, July 1–2.

A meeting of graduate students will take place on Thursday, June 30, for which a separate call is to be circulated. The annual general assembly of the Ernst Herzfeld Society will be held on Friday or Saturday afternoon. For July 3 visits to places in and near Córdoba are foreseen.

The Colloquium is planned as a meeting in presence and on-site while the organizers will also prepare for a hybrid format if the necessity of online participation arises. A detailed schedule and information on the format will follow in due course.

Application – Please submit your proposal for a paper or a panel by March 13, 2022 to Prof. Dr. Fernando Valdés Fernández: Individual papers: Please submit a title and an abstract of 250 and no more than 300 words.- Pre-arranged panels: will preferably include three presentations Please submit a title and an abstract of no more than 500 words presenting the topic and aim of the panel, and a provisional list of speakers with abstracts.- The preferred colloquium language is English. Each presentation is limited to 20 minutes, followed by 10 minutes of discussion (or 30 minutes of discussion per panel).

All proposals will undergo a peer review selection process. Acceptance will be notified in the beginning of April 2022.

If you want to submit a paper proposal for the graduate meeting (separate call), please send your title and abstract to Suzanne Compagnon:

Registration for and participation in the Colloquium are free for members of the Society. Other speakers and participants are asked to join the Society by paying the annual membership fee. Please see:…/beitrittsfor…/

We kindly request that speakers and participants make their own travel and accommodation arrangements. A list of hotels located in the vicinity of the Colloquium venue will be made available in due course.

phD scholarship, The Khalili Research Centre (Oxford)

The Khalili Research Centre is offering a scholarship for a student of exceptional promise to undertake a DPhil in Islamic Art and/or Architecture at the University of Oxford. The scholarship will cover fees and maintenance for 3 years starting in October 2022.

The successful candidate will have a fully-formed project with the requisite language and research skills already in place. Preference may be given to students working on one of the following fields: Umayyad art and architecture; Abbasid art and architecture; early Qur’ans; Ottoman art and architecture; the history of Islamic calligraphy before 1900.

How to apply: All candidates who apply for the DPhil at the University of Oxford with a supervisor at the Khalili Research Centre by 12 noon on 1 March 2022 will be considered for this scholarship:…/courses/dphil-oriental-studies

There are no restrictions of nationality. Candidates are advised to contact a prospective supervisor before applying.

The Khalili Research Centre (KRC) is the University of Oxford’s centre for research into the art and material culture of the Islamic societies of the Middle East and of their non-Muslim members and neighbours. It brings together staff, postdoctoral researchers and graduate students specialising in Islamic art and architecture in a dedicated building at the heart of Oxford. The Centre benefits from the exceptional concentration of expertise in related fields at the University of Oxford, as well as the world-class library resources and object collections of the Bodleian Library, Ashmolean Museum, and further institutions in Oxford. For more information, please visit:

Contact:Prof. Alain George (

Webinaire: Regards sur les arts du monde iranien / Insights into the Art of the Persianate Societies (22/02/2022)

Regards sur les arts du monde iranien / Insights into the Art of the Persianate Societies coorganisé par l’Institut Français de Recherche en Iran (IFRI) et le CeRMI, aura lieu le mardi 22 février 2022, de 15h à 17h (heure de Paris) / 17h30-19h30 (heure de Téhéran).

Cette deuxième séance s’articulera autour du thème « Regards sur la céramique,

1 / Insights into ceramic arts, 1 », avec les interventions suivantes :

• New data about the «Poteries de Bamiyan» (Afghanistan) Guergana Guionova (CNRS, Aix Marseille Univ, LA3M, Aix-en-Provence), Thomas Lorain (MAFAB/University of Bamberg)

• Architectural decoration, tiles and brickworks of Alamut Castle through historical data Hamideh Choubak (ICCAR, RICHT, MCTH)

• A Research on the Islamic Ceramics of the Sultâniyya plain, Iran Mahsa Feizi (PhD Tehran University/Lyon 2)


Chairperson: Yves Porter (Aix Marseille Univ/IUF/LA3M)

Pour suivre cette séance online (sur Skyroom), inscrivez-vous avant le 21 février sur le lien suivant :…